LUBBOCK, Texas — Willard Justice Jr. was found dead in his home in North Lubbock on Tuesday.
Police responded to the area Monday for a shots fired call, and then they received a check-welfare call Tuesday regarding a home in the area not originally identified to be involved in the shots fired the night before. Finding Justice in his home having suffered a gunshot wound.
On Tuesday, Alicia Chavez, Justice’s granddaughter, went to check on her grandfather after hearing shots had been fired in his neighborhood the day before.
“I looked up to the sky, and I saw an angel. It really broke my heart because I knew,” said Chavez. “I got there, and I was just praying, ‘I hope I see him.'”
Sadly, police had already found Justice dead in his home.
Justice took Chavez and her sister in after their mother and grandmother died. She said her and her family’s heart broke when she heard the news.
“He was sweet. Every time we were hungry, he would give us money or something to go eat just anything he could do to help he helped,” said Chavez’s boyfriend, Steven Palacios.
It was her greatest fear, becoming a reality.
“I knew this was going to happen,” said Chavez.
Chavez says her grandfather was always willing to extend a hand to someone who needed a place to stay. Often giving up his couch to someone who might otherwise sleep on the street.
“These people brought violence to the house, and they don’t even live there. Not thinking or putting my grandpa into consideration,” said Chavez.
She believes the man who shot her grandfather was after someone who had previously stayed with him. Police say Leo Contreras is the person of interest in this case, but so far, has not been able to arrest him.
“I won’t get any relief until he is caught,” said Chavez. “I truly want justice for him.”
Chavez is now raising money in hopes of at least giving her guardian angel the send-off he deserved.
“It hurts me because I promised him I wouldn’t let him die alone, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Chavez. “I’ll make sure he’s taken care of if that’s the last thing I do.”
Chavez has set up a Gofundme to help pay for funeral expenses. You can find the link to donate here.